Eight-Time Parnelli Award Winner Renting Musical Stars Tour Buses
Hemphill Brothers, a coach company that has thrived since 1980 by renting fleets of tour buses to iconic musicians and their teams, have pivoted operations in the wake of COVID-19. With the pandemic grinding live music and touring to a near halt, the Tennessee-based company is now giving the public a chance to travel like a rock star.
Joey Hemphill and his brother Trent grew up riding buses with their family as they traveled around the country singing gospel music. Their bus connection grew deeper when their father, Joel W. Hemphill Sr., started a bus leasing company in 1974 to bring in extra income for the family. When their father retired in 1980 and sold his company, he sold a pair of busses to the Hemphill brothers. Armed with a passion for music and the background of the company’s inner workings, the brothers grew the business, and by 1989, they were running the company fulltime.
While the company has an extensive client list of musicians, athletes, and presidential candidates, Hemphill Brothers needed to think outside the box when COVID-19 brought nearly all touring and travel opportunities to a grinding halt. Ever the businessmen, the brothers strategized a new avenue to supplement traditional operations, allowing the public to rent out former tour buses of some of their iconic clients. One bus for rent goes for $2,000 per night and has been used to transport legends like Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, and Lady Gaga. While $2,000 might seem like a hefty price to share the same space as a renowned musical artist, the coaches come equipped to the highest level. Features include six bunk beds and a queen bed, a fully equipped kitchen, entertainment systems that rival many in-home setups, a bathroom with a shower, and doors, windows, and pop-outs that engage with a touch of a button. Trent Hemphill calls the rig a “rolling five-star hotel on wheels.”
Hemphill Brothers is an eight-time Parnelli Award winner in the category of “Coach Company of the Year.” The Parnelli Awards, which began in 2001, is the industry’s highest honor for live event professionals and recognize “pioneering, influential professionals and their contributions, honoring individuals, companies, and game-changing products.” Started by Patrick Stanfield and Terry Lowe, the Parnelli Awards found a new home at The NAMM Show in 2017, where the program has continued to thrive and grow.